Well Luis, finally got my time with the VCR after all the family videos on the blizzard-bound snow days we've had here in the northeastern US. Thank you for sending it to me, it was truly one of the important documentaries of our time. I am devastated to learn that the salmon situation is as bad as I had feared and the aquaculture boom is occuring totally at the wrong moment in the salmon's fight for survival.
A few notes:
Salmon farming is big business: Nutreco, the world's largest aquaculture business
raises 25 times more salmon on west scotland's coast than there are natural salmon
Concentrations have resulted in explosions of sea lice populations contained by pesticides in feed within farms but not treatable in wild fish. The show joins a research vessel who captures AS at sea literally covered with sealice to the point of impending death. The sharp rise in sea lice populations is suspected to be linked to the heavy concentrations of stationary biomass. (Sea lice larvae drift the currents looking for hosts)
Many other diseases:
Extensive farm diseases:
- infectious bacterial
- effects of captivity like cataracts common
- unnatural manipulation of growth rates and genetics
- bacterial diseases epidemics in farms, destruction f infected stocks common
- anti-biotic permeation used to overcome inherent disease outbreaks in farms,
- wild stocks who contact these diseases do not survive
- escapees spread disease, compete and interbreed
- infectious salmon anemia a typical and common ailment
- sealice are proven to become increasingly resistant to treatments at farms
- Norway's rivers have 3 to 1 farmed fish majority returning in their rivers
- 30% hybridization found, increasing every year
Good quote from biologist: "the introduction of new genetic material each year (referring to escapee farm salmon) prevents natural adaptation in wild stocks to occur to deal with the diseases and epedemics caused by farming operations"
Three New Brunswick rivers have up to a 10-1 ratio of farmed to wild salmon returning where wild runs are on the brink of biological extinction
- salmon farming is the fastest growing aquaculture business
- exotic atlantic brood on pacific after pacific species failed
- In British Columbia, 2300 in independent sampling operation - but no DFO sampling being done at all. Fishermen report increase in atlantic salmon occurrences each year in pacific salmon stocks, which are decreasing.
Getting better - 100,000 / year in the 80's
down to 30,000 / year escapement in British Columbia... (and tens of thousands in the atlantic as well / year)
- University of Victoria... proven spawning in 3 Pacific river systems, survival and competition with native species also proven.
- 50% of capelin, sand eels, and herring (bait) caught in the atlantic go to oil for salmon feed
- Directs contaminants back into the human food chain... pcb's, dioxins, and dioxin-like chemicals prominent in salmon feed
- south pacific feed is most free of these contaminants, in comparison
Farming area effluent effect - several feet deep of contaminants, organisms do not survive - clams, worms, etc.
Yet despite all this farms complain about high cost (up to 150k/year) of regulatory compliance. Reality is there are no fines for dumping fish or for using dangerous chemicals, escapment, etc. We may be regulating but we're not doing it right... it's not working.
My feelings on the matter - regulate the industry so that farming operations can not afford to mess up... make it catastrophic if they allow fish to escape or contribute to the chemical, biological or other forms of contamination of indigenous fish or environments where they operate.
Please email me a mailing address and I will get it to you right away.
Thanks again Luis.